If you've been hurt in a car accident, you probably deserve financial compensation. It can be difficult to understand the way insurance companies and the law deal with personal injuries like car accidents, but knowing what you are entitled to receive is important. The financial ramifications of an accident are known as damages, and there are two types. Read on to find out more.
This category of damages is mostly comprised of issues like pain and suffering. There is a way to put a dollar figure on this important damage category, but it takes some additional calculations to do so. Keeping up with your medical expenses will become an important component of pain and suffering. It should be mentioned that non-economic damages are only available by taking legal action – this is not commonly covered by insurance.
When all is said and done, your non-economic damages are added together with your economic damages to form a figure. That figure is what your attorney will be asking the other side to pay. The other side likely uses a very similar way to add up damages, though insurance companies will undoubtedly think you deserve far less. The amount you end up getting in a settlement is the result of back and forth negotiations between your personal injury lawyer and that of the insurance carrier for the at-fault driver.
Several Types of Economic Damages
The dollar amount associated with each event below is determined by the exact amount you are owed and proof should be at the ready for each one. In most cases, documents like medical bills, insurance explanation of benefits statements, receipts, pay stubs, and tax returns are needed as proof.
1. Medical treatment and related expenses – Medical care can be extremely expensive and even a minor injury can quickly incur huge bills. In most cases, the other side's insurance carrier will cover your medical needs, but care must be taken to keep good records and take action when they delay or balk. Unpaid medical bills are often sent to collection agencies, resulting in long-term damage to your credit situation. This category should include:
- Emergency room treatment
- Transportation by ambulance
- Rehabilitative care
- All follow-up care, diagnostic tests, etc
- Medication and devices like braces and walkers
2. Future medical needs – This separate medical category is an estimate based on your doctor's advice.
3. Lost wages – All time missed from your job should be paid back to you.
4. Vehicle and personal property – Any damage to your vehicle will be covered by insurance. You may need to take legal action to be paid for the child safety seat, your cell phone, ruined clothing and bags, and more.
To learn more about economic damages, speak to your personal injury services representative.